Sunday, 26 April 2009

Z has been Splashed

Thank you, Sandy.

I'll make some nominations of my own when I get home again.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Sage is so polite

I was cooking dinner and he came to chat to me. "Am I interrupting?" he asked, because the radio was on. I have complained, sometimes, that people do not think that the radio matters. If you're watching television, they wait for a break before speaking, but they tune out the radio and talk over it and I've often missed something I wanted to listen to.

On this occasion, it was just background conversation, so I assured him I was happy to listen to him. He chattered away happily, about the sale of course, and after a while, grating cheese into a sauce, I dropped the grater. Into the sauce. "Sorry," he said, "That was my fault, I distracted you."

Of course, it wasn't his fault at all, I was merely clumsy.

I have packed, apart from books. I seem to have a shortlist of 6. I'm wondering if this is enough, or perhaps too many. I have also to pack my camera, but at least I have charged the battery. I need to take photos tomorrow, for the advertisement for our July sale. Apparently, the deadline is Monday. The photo is to be of a tea caddy. Vitally, it has its original cover. That doubles, at least, its value.

The Sage is already planning the October sale too. He is very happy.

Z should Bustle About, but doesn't

It's another lovely day. In typical Norfolk fashion, we say we need rain, although we love to have the sun. Every time I go out at this time of the year I take a conscious pleasure in the hedgerows. The blackthorn, which I think must be my favourite hedgerow tree (fabulous white blossom on leaf-free branches and sloes in the autumn as a bonus) is starting to fade, and the hawthorn is in fresh pale green leaf, which will be followed in a few days by (the clue is in the name) the maytree blossom. Cowslips along the A140, magnolias in gardens, lilac just coming out. I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to go on holiday just now. Only for a week though. I trust there won't be a sharp frost to catch the wisteria on the front of the house.

I'm eating chocolate and drinking wine. The first is v bad, the second is fine. Indeed, I was awfully pleased when the Sage accepted a glass too. Ro said "isn't it a bit early?" "Not for lunch," I explained, waving my smoked salmon sandwich at him. Then the Sage offered us chocolates (after the salmon). Ro refused, bemused. I think we've reverted to an alarming immaturity compared to him.

I've got a lot to do. I can't take it seriously. Yesterday took it out of us. The Sage is gently dozing in the chair next but one to mine. The chair next to mine has three days-worth of newspapers on it that we haven't had time to read yet.

I'm also reading Camus, L'étranger. I last read it in 1972, when I was about to take French A level. I have to admit, it's using a fair bit of concentration. I'm too lazy to look up the words I don't know, which is slightly disjointing to the story, although one can work most of it out. My French is rubbish.

Nearly half a granny

The sale was successful and exciting. At one point, when Weeza and I were taking bids from two people on the phone and a third was bidding in the saleroom, the Sage momentarily lost his voice and Ro had to give him some water. it was all very splendid. My bidder won, hah!

I drove Ro to work, as he was going to come to Lowestoft by train from Norwich. We left just before 7.30, he was in the office by 8 and I arrived to fetch Weeza and Zerlina in time for breakfast. It's Zerlina's second auction, we indoctrinate them young so that they can be put to work as soon as the start of the sale and bedtime don't coincide. She was enchanting, and much admired. She smiles constantly, demonstrates crawling and standing on tiptoes (on all fours) and as long as she receives interesting food at regular intervals (now she is crawling, she's constantly hungry) she is happy. Weeza took her to be weighed and measured this week. She is tall and slim - much less chubby than any of the rest of the family as babies, although she does have little rolls of chub at the top of her thighs, under her chin and the back of her neck, and she's not thin. She's grown much taller - I think Weeza said 77cm which is, as Weeza pointed out, "nearly half a Granny."

Friday, 24 April 2009

To Stop Z's Coffin'? the undertaker might say to the chemist.

I woke up coughing at 6 o'clock this morning. I reached out for the glass of water placed prudently on the bedside table. I aimed it towards my mouth. Pity I was still lying on my side.

Anyway, when I actually woke properly to get up, I heard the cuckoo. I suppose everyone else has heard it for the past three weeks, but I haven't.

It is, of course, obligatory to use the definite article in reference to the cuckoo. I don't know why.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Z sources Salt

I am indebted to Simon for sending me to this site. For a moment, I was enthused, since the extremely-South-Norfolk - so far to the south that my postal address includes the word 'Suffolk' - area isn't so far marked. But then I realised that this is not exactly a Norfolk (however 'n'good) blog. Once, I was offered a place among religious bloggers, once women's and once British. But, though I touch on all these things, I don't think I have a theme at all. It's just a ramble through my life as I portray it at the moment I sit here and write.

But what really put me off was the notion that I should write specific posts, and call them 'BlogNor09'. I'm sorry, I can't. It feels like selling myself in some obscure way, and not even to an attractive title.

Nonetheless, I wish them well, especially since JonnyB is already linked as a contributor. Even though, and this is something that quite annoys me, they only put one post to a page. I like to browse a bit, to read past posts, even if I've already seen them. If I have to click to 'older posts' and then wait for the single post to load (that is one thing to mention about rural Norfolk; that Broadband becomes ever slower) I can't be bothered. I'll go to the feedreader and read them all together.

Anyway, dinner is cooking. Roast Norfolk chicken, roast Norfolk potatoes, Norfolk asparagus, Norfolk purple sprouting broccoli. We'll draw a veil over the sweet potatoes, the shallots and garlic, and the salt is from Essex. The wine, as it happens, is not particularly delicious, but was really quite cheap, and comes from Chile.

Tomorrow, it is our auction, of 18th century Suffolk china. From Lowestoft, indeed, which is itself only 5 miles from Norfolk.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Small pleasure of the day - setting off the warning speed light in Bridge Street as I sailed down the hill on my bike. It's a 20mph limit, but still made me smile.

Big pleasure of the day - Weeza and Dilly persuaded me that I could take time off to go to the park with them and the children. It was lovely in the sunshine, we had a picnic and, since no one else was there so that I could be looked upon with disapproval for going on the children's play equipment, I had a lovely swing. Weeza took my picture to prove it.

Slight bummer of the day - it was the church AGM, and I had to write a report. This catches me out every year; I forget. I remembered this year, but only did it this afternoon (I'd have done it earlier if I hadn't gone to the park...). However, it sounded awfully impressive.

Extra pleasure of the day - Friend Daphne is here and it's lovely to see her. She lives near Canterbury - it's a bit more than 3 hours drive away, just a bit too much for a casual lunchtime visit. We've all our various commitments so don't see each other as often as we'd like. She and the Sage have known each other for over 50 years, since she moved here from India, where her father had been an army Colonel.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

It appears that Z, asking for help, is irresistible

It's been a good day, it seems. Today's lecture was excellent, and it was a pleasure to deliver the vote of thanks although, since I'm not ever so au fait with most of the Scottish Colourists (better with the Glasgow Boys, less again with the Glasgow Girls who are superb) I was really speaking off the cuff from knowledge gleaned during an hour's lecture.

Anyhoo, before the lecture, in my introduction'n'notices (yes darlings, I do that too) I asked if anyone might be interested in being the next Treasurer? I said that Nick, the present incumbent, declares that it's the easiest job on the committee and a particular doddle if you can do it on an Excel spreadsheet (I swear, I nearly offered to do the job myself) and I was able to add, truthfully, that it's the friendliest and most purposeful committee I've ever been on. Nevertheless, I was surprised and pleased when a chap rang up this evening who is considering putting himself forward for the job. I've asked Nick to contact him to tell him what's entailed, and my fingers are crossed.

So, I had a couple of hours of purposeful shopping to put in. In that time, I bought a few bits and pieces (such as paper hankies in those little travel packs) and, more necessarily, 4 pairs of shoes, 1 handbag, 1 pair of trousers, 1 skirt and 1 top. 4 pairs of shoes might seem a bit of a lot, but I don't remember buying any at all last year, and quite a few of my shoes are fairly unwearable now because they are too high or too low heeled. I put my little lift in each right shoe and they all seem fine. One is an impressively purposeful pair of (look, excuse the vagueness, I don't buy this sort of thing normally) the sort of walking boots that look like trainers. I'm not a trainer girl, I'm a high heel girl at heart, but I'm going to do a lot of walking next week and I'm a reformed (that is, no longer stupid) character these days.

The trousers, now that's odd. I tried 3 pairs. The first was a size 12 and it fitted, but was more suited for someone younger, frankly. A bit too figure-hugging. The second, size 10, was fine. The third, size 10 again, was too small. I could barely do it up. The odd thing is that they were all the same make.

In the next shop, I cautiously (since it was a Petite range) took a size 10 and a size 12 skirt into the changing room. The 10 was fine. Especially if I diet strenuously for the next few days. Um, was Spaghetti Carbonara the best choice for dinner tonight?'s so tasty........

Another phone call this evening was from the church treasurer, whose official form doesn't quite take into account the intricacies of our accounts (I'd explain, but your eyes are glazing already, so I'll be kind). Anyway, all she needs to do is explain what she's done and why to a Person of Authority. So could I call round tonight? - AGM tomorrow. Of course. Hm, what about my wine intake? Pfft, I'll go on my bike. So that'll be fine.

I'm off now. Have a most lovely evening, dear hearts, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Post early, post often

I lost yesterday, in blogging terms - that is, the post I wrote was published at 5.30 this morning, although I wrote it last night (and then backdated it to before midnight). I don't think this demonstrates obsessive behaviour, oh no indeed.

Ro didn't do anything about the internet connection; he said it might fix itself. So I restarted both boxes again this morning and after about half an hour I gained a tentative connection.

Having been very tired the other evening and gone to bed early, I've been earlyish each night since - all that sea air on Sunday made me sleepy and I seemed to be following a pattern by then. However, last night I had a reminder of why it suits me better to go to bed after midnight. Having been tucked up in dreamland by 11, I was awake by 3 and haven't slept since. Back to normal hours tonight, I think.

Monday, 20 April 2009


As I write, I have no internet connection, so I’m writing this in Word, ready for when Ro solves the problem, assuming it’s capable of solution by my Little Computer Wiz. I did what I could – I moved the monitor around a bit, I restarted, I restarted the hub, I restarted the computer again and them I asked Ro if his computer had internet. That is my limit. What I’ll do when he buys a home of his own is beyond me.

I have finally potted up all the tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot) and aubergines, and sowed all the spring-sown seeds. I’ve also planted in bigger pots the first courgette plants. I am eyeing several dozen others with some anxiety, because if I don’t do them on Thursday they will have to wait at least ten days. Courgette plants (zucchini, if you prefer) grow a lot in ten days.

I’m doing well in some ways. I went to the chemist today and bought fresh supplies of make-up and similar dull but necessary things (I optimistically bought sunscreen, darlings!) in initial preparation for my hols. I really think I can manage with hand baggage, taking the barest liquid essentials in the clear plastic bag I’m disappointed to find I still need to take, plus two pairs of shoes, two skirts, two pairs of trousers, several teeshirts, a couple of tops for evenings and very little else. Well, knickers and similar unmentionables. Hotels always provide soap, shampoo and the rest, and I can wear a jacket. It’ll be fine, and there will be no waiting around dismally by the carousel while the final three items of baggage are loaded. Why is it that, however long you wait, something that isn’t yours always remains unclaimed?

Before then, I’ve a dispiriting amount of stuff to finish. I ducked out of a day-long thing at the school today – really, I was too busy and it was a ‘jolly good show, carry on chaps’ occasion if I’d gone, which isn’t really useful. Another governor, who would be useful, was going anyway.

That reminds me. I meant to send an email about Friday, when I usually go in to school for a music lesson, but I can’t. Nor can I send the email. Oh dear. I’ll have to drop in a note tomorrow if Ro can’t get the connection up. Which, since he doesn’t need it right now, he’s not attempting to do.

Hm. It’s odd, writing in the ‘wrong’ font and setting. I know that the good bloggers draft and hone, but I don’t. I write in Blogger, press ‘Publish’, read through to check for howlers – most of which I still miss – and that’s it. A friend keeps telling me to do back-ups, but I never have. It’s all trivial, really, and I’m quite happy for it to remain ephemeral, to be forgotten as quickly by you as it is by me.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Z goes out, on a whim (but not her own)

At about 3.30, Al came through and said they'd all decided to go out ("as a family", isn't that sweet?) to Southwold, and home via the splendid fish & chip shop at Pakefield - would we all like to come? The Sage said it was too late a return for the bantams, as they'd all be roosting in trees and he would spend half the evening catching them and putting them to bed. Ro said he had too much work to do. I said I had more potting on to do - pfft, I'd love to come.

It had been a cold, dull morning until the sun came out, and then it turned hot and lovely, albeit with a strong wind. Southwold was quite busy, although not many hardy people were still on the beach at 4 o'clock. We walked to the pier, watched the activities of the water clock at 4.30 and then spent half an hour building sandcastles. At Pakefield, we ate fish and chips on the green by the cliff, walked a few yards to show the children where their daddy had lived for 10 years (if you know Lowestoft, it's the Old Rectory, which was in the news a few weeks ago as the former home of the chap who bought it from us, who has recently gone to prison. A story which upsets me) and then drove past the house where we lived for the first year of Al's life.

This morning, I was busy after the service getting nominations for the PCC. The treasurer was a bit upset - nothing to do with me or anyone in the church - and wasn't sure she wanted to carry on. I didn't try to persuade her, I just listened to her and said how I'd try to put things right for next time; that she worked so hard it wouldn't be fair to push her into doing something she had doubts about but that I hoped she knew how much she was appreciated. I meant it of course - I don't do flannel - and she considered it and said she'll stand again. I'm very relieved; quite apart from the problem of having three days to find yet another treasurer, it would be awful to have a really fine person driven away, quite unintentionally, by another, equally fine, who was maybe seen as being more pernickety than was required in the circumstances. I've written and addressed that person's concerns tonight, with sincere thanks for the work done. I know, you'll call me a creep. I deny it, but agree that I'm a peacemaker and a negotiator. I also think it's important that each person in a disagreement keeps his sense of self-worth and doesn't feel he hasn't had his point of view taken into account.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Z goes out on a whim

To start with, my apologies for having turned on word verification. There's a whole spate of spam comments in Chinese (or similar language that I can't understand) on a lot of blogs at the moment and, whilst I haven't had any, I don't want them and nor do I want any of you lovely people who have commented and signed up for notification of replies to receive them either. As a lesser of two evils, please excuse it - I trust that Blogger will get on the case and intervene to stop them before long. Spam seems to come in waves, doesn't it?

Weeza wants to buy a bike. She still has her old one here, but she hasn't ridden it since she was at school. Phil cycles a lot - 15 miles or more a day as part of his commute to start with, and then he enjoys going out for a bike ride at the weekend. He biked over here last Sunday; 22 miles each way. There's some really pretty countryside around where they live and they want to get a child's trailer to go on the back. They are extremely expensive new, so they're investigating second-hand.

The Sage is just pouring me a glass of wine. Isn't he a constant delight? This morning, he asked if there was anything I needed, so I suggested he buy dinner to save me going out shopping. Then I went out anyway, as Wink was. We wanted to check her new satnav, which turned up impressively quickly - ordered on Tuesday evening, shipped on Thursday, arrived on Friday afternoon and all seems well. She left after lunch today and arrived at Warminster (not where she lives, but where her chap, Bod lives) just on 4 hours later. It's 230 miles to her house, but maybe a little less to reach Bod, I'm not sure.

The Sage has scrubbed the Jersey Royals, put them on to cook and is heating the grill for me. I think he deserves a kiss. He also mowed the lawn this evening, which is splendid. I daresay all of you have cut the grass (those who have lawns, that is) several times already this year, but we take rather the same attitude to mowing as we do to dusting - it soon comes back so you might as well leave it until it's worth doing. I did say that I'd take over the mowing, as I think our petrol mower is a bit of a beast (I can't start it as the pull rope is too long for me to keep a foot on the machine to stop it from being pulled towards me as I yank) and it's too heavy for him, but I was assailed by indecision as to which to buy last year, so ended up forgetting about it through the winter. I'll go out on a whim and get one, one day.

Still potting up plants. I've found another tray of tomatoes. Two more done, two to do. I've also been potting up courgettes. I sowed the Blue Hubbard squash plants and was a bit miffed to discover each packet, while saying 'average 10 seeds', only gave me 7. I might send a miffed email. I also sowed runner beans. 252 of them so far, with about another 60 to go. Indeed, we are fond of runner beans, but Al will sell most of the plants.

One thing I like to do, when on holiday, is buy packets of seeds. It's a memento of the trip, to grow plants from it the next year. I also, often, buy a little purse. As something I handle every day, I think it makes a cheery little memory of the occasion. I'm using the soft little leather one I bought in Krakow 2 years ago still. It cost about 40p and I've had to mend it a bit, but it takes coins, a few cards - credit, library, blood donor, debit, and some stamps, and I like it very much. I bought my last purse in India - in Udaipur, I think.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Decisions, decisions

Apologetically had to abandon Wink today, as I had a meeting in the village in the afternoon and another here this evening. To make up for it, I took her, with Weeza and Zerlina for lunch at the local nice restaurant. I had scallops, so did Wink and Weeza had duck. Zerlina had some vegetable number brought along by her mother, and fromage frais. Tonight, Dilly did pizza and salad for us all so that I didn't have to cook before my meeting.

It was a decisive meeting. I did written notes beforehand, which is useful I find as you don't have to start with a lot of explanations, and I'd done a whole lot of research on the internet this afternoon, for which I got more credit than I deserved as it wasn't much trouble. As a result, we have decided to spend some of the church's money (we received a bequest) and I will be putting in various orders in the next day or two. We've been given a second-hand fridge to replace the one that's just gone wrong, so that's a help.

Wink will be leaving tomorrow after lunch. I'll miss her, it's been lovely that she's had nearly a week with us. Our friend Daphne rang today, asking if she can come and stay next week, so there will be a quicker than usual change around of bedclothes in the spare room. Time was, you know, when I did all that sort of thing at once, as a matter of course. I thought I was busy but, looking back, it all seems to have been a lot more leisurely.

I potted up another trayful of tomatoes, but there are still three more to go and I haven't started on the peppers or aubergines yet. I still have the squashes to pot up and more to sow, and runner beans to sow too. Four trays of broad beans - 48 plants - are going down to the shop for sale tomorrow morning. There's about another 10 trayfuls coming on. I'll keep some for myself of course. I like broad beans.

I finally opened the envelope with my holiday itinerary and ticket and find that I'll be getting back to Norwich about midnight at the end of the trip, so we've arranged that the Sage will leave my car in the car park the day before and come home with Ro, so that I don't drag him over in the middle of the night. I've also been mulling over what I need to buy and take and I hope to have a brief shopping spree in Norwich on Tuesday - I have a 2 hour chink there, so if I skip lunch that will be plenty of time. Daphne will arrive on Wednesday, I'll look after Pugsley on Thursday and it's our auction on Friday. I'll pack on Saturday. Or Sunday afternoon. Yes, that's more likely.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Z stays calm

Wink's wallet was at the Post Office, where she had forgetfully left it yesterday. So that's all right. Things usually turn up and we didn't over-react.

I'm starting to plan for my trip to Italy. It isn't planning as Dave knows it - he'd have his euros bought, his bag ready to pack and all the rest by now and I haven't yet opened the envelope containing tickets and inventory. Indeed, I wonder where I've put it. My planning is in my mind. I'm mulling over the clothes I might need - does anyone happen to know what the weather might be in Bologna at the end of April/early May? I'm rather thinking, since I'm flying with British Airways, that I might take the luxury of travelling light with no check-in luggage, but that means getting my clothes right. I do have to get stuff planned rather earlier than usual though, as it's our auction next Friday, I'm going to babysit for Weeza and Phil on Sunday (26th, not this Sunday) and then Weeza's going to take me to catch the coach on Monday morning. In effect, my best day to do things is Wednesday. Which is a bit early really. Anyway, I've made a start - I've checked that my passport is where I thought it was. I like to pack everything at the same time, otherwise I fuss that I've forgotten something and have to unpack it all to check. I don't like fussing.

Looking at the final sentence of each paragraph, I realise that I've given clues to my Inner Self.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Z is wakeful

I took the precaution of a prophylactic painkiller this morning, which meant I've felt splendid all day, except for the cough. Today, since I was working in the shop on The Day Itself, we celebrated Wink's birthday with a day out with Weeza and Zerlina. We had lunch at an excellent pub (with added brewery next door). Zerlina was a Perfect Angel, as I expect all children related to me to be, and ate her lunch enthusiastically. She then shared our pudding (one ice cream, three spoons ... ah, four spoons) and only whined a bit then - she'd never had ice cream before and was slightly anxious that we might have her share.

After that, we went back for a nap. We didn't sleep, the baby did. For a long time. After an hour's chat, we started remarking on it. "Zerlina is having a lovely long sleep, isn't she?" "Yes, isn't it good?" "I wonder when she'll wake up?"

She did, cheerful and relaxed, and then we went shopping at the garden centre for, having planted out everything we'd bought the other day, there were still a couple of gaps. We spent a long time there, and I bought a new fork and spade too.

So, a jolly day all round, and not a lot to remark upon. I potted up a few dozen more tomato plants this morning, and now only have about 100 to go, plus all the other seedlings.

The only fly that has inconveniently buzzed into the ointment is that Wink has lost her wallet. That is, she hopes it's here, or possibly with Wink or with her sister-in-law and her husband, whom she visited yesterday. But she can't find it. She hasn't used it since she's been here, but she's rung a neighbour who's been in and checked obvious places in her house. She's looked everywhere, but we'll look again tomorrow morning. There's no reason to think there has been malappropriation, but all the same, it's got her credit cards in so one can't take it lightly. Oh bummer, darlings, don't you hate it when something like that happens? If it doesn't turn up tomorrow, she's going to have to bite the cancellation bullet, which will be a real nuisance.

Everyone seems to have gone to bed. But the night is young, darlings, it's hardly half past ten. What am I to do for the next couple of hours?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Z is a Sentimental Old Bat

The Sage has just poured me a second glass of wine, and as soon as the painkillers kick in, I'll feel marvellous. Al and co. are at the theatre this afternoon so I've been at the shop and I think I pulled a muscle a bit - first my back had that hot ripped feeling and then I had a pain in my chest, quite high up, at breastbone level. I was fine, and it was a lovely afternoon - for a long time I was too busy but then I took a stool outside and sat and read in between customers, with the sun on my back. The Sage came to help me pack up, which I was ever so grateful for and which I mostly left to him because my hip/knee hurt too It's no big deal, just that I'm a bit feeble after this chest infection. I'm feeling better and will be quite well by next week - it's a beastly thing and the Sage is still coughing; he didn't get it so badly as I (who didn't get it so badly as Al) but it really lasts.

Al and Dilly bought me a gizmo to go on the bike to tell me how far and what speed I'm going. They bought it for Mother's Day (Mothering Sunday if you prefer, but that is actually a church thing and this was for me!) but didn't realise they had to buy a battery, as it should have been included, so it's all taken a while. Darling Al gave up quite some time on Easter Sunday to fit it up for me. I ride along now, inevitably, with one eye on the gizmo.

Tonight, as it's Wink's birthday, I have planned a celebration meal. The first course will be Norfolk asparagus. The very local stuff isn't around yet, but Al has been delighting his customers for a week with it. Then, sea bass with English tomatoes Provençal (olive oil, garlic and parsley - I hope the way I do it is the way my mother did when I was a little girl; it tastes right) and local sprouting broccoli and Jersey Royal potatoes. Then pineapple. Neither Wink nor I wants a fattening dinner and I hope she likes it.

You know, it's moments like this when I miss my mother, when she was still well and the person I knew (this is shorthand, I may explain one day but not now). She would get this meal exactly and know just how much of a treat it feels like in exactly the same way I do. I first felt this a couple of months after she died, when I served a baked fish, our first digging of potatoes and first picking of broad beans, and asparagus out of the garden. I wanted to cry because no one else felt the perfection and the satisfaction like me and probably wouldn't and I didn't expect them to. The family enjoyed it, but it wasn't meaningful. I didn't say anything, it wasn't a criticism.

Betjeman said that 'childhood is made up of sights and sounds and smells' - being very lacking in qualities of observation, I'd probably say smells and tastes and feels.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Z buys Another Birthday Present

It's not surprising that I vetoed further April babies, considering that my two older children and my sister all have birthdays in the first half of this month. It's Wink's turn tomorrow and I hadn't bought her a present. I didn't know what to get, so we were planning to go shopping. However, in the course of conversation at dinner tonight, the subject of sat-navs came up and I wondered if she would like one. She would, so that's done. All I have to do now is find her card, which I've put a load of stuff on top of.

I had the children again today, for rather longer than I'd expected, but they were very good...most of the time. Squiffany threw a wobbly. I asked them what they'd like for lunch, giving three choices. Squiffany asked for boiled eggs (I'd just said 'eggs' with no method specified). Pugsley asked for fish fingers - but then, that was all right. They both thought they might like to share them both, so all seemed well. But when the egg appeared, and I invited her to tap it so that I could remove the top of the shell, she suddenly said she wanted eggs cooked in a different way. I was firm, she lost her temper and stormed from the room, so I ignored her for the next half hour while she calmed down. She came back a few times to shout a bit more, and opened the drawing room door a couple of times while she could slam it, but I took no notice. Wink ate one of the boiled eggs and I ate the other.

Later, we talked it through, she said 'sorry' and ate the fish fingers I'd saved (I told her it was those or nothing). All was tranquil for the rest of the day and, ooh, we watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This was Ro's favourite film when he was a little boy and he watched the video over and again. He suspects that he holds the record for the most watchings. I was thrilled when I saw it was on, and we all clustered round the television.

Did I mention (I didn't know, so I've looked at yesterday's post and no, I didn't) that Al and his family like the new tv? They all cuddled up on the sofa yesterday afternoon and watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The corner it's in is still very tidy. In my house, that's worth remarking.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Eggs

The whole family was here for lunch, that is, eleven of us. Splendid. Ro and the Sage did a fair bit of the cooking while I was at church. Zerlina had a nap after lunch and then Squiffany read books to her. She read The Very Hungry Caterpillaar several times; she knows it by heart. Then they sat and chuckled and chattered to each other. I wondered which would, as time goes by, be the one to lead the other furthest* astray - maybe they'll just egg each other on.

Phil cycled over - 22 miles. It took him about an hour and a quarter. I think, if I were to try such a thing it would take me double the time, plus several long stops, preferably at roadside hostelries. I haven't been on my bike for a few days in fact, apart from just round the village, as I'm still recovering from my laryngitis of last week and I cough a lot. I feel better today, at any rate.

We didn't have the rain that was forecast for East Angular. Al and Dilly bought a tent last week and, of course, the children were keen to try it out. Since it would pretty well fill their lawn, giving barely enough room for the guy ropes, they put it up on our lawn (which is still not a large one). They slept out there for two nights except Al, who knew he would have a busy day on Saturday and opted out for Friday night. It went well, apparently, and they were warm, although "aren't there a lot of different birds in the dawn chorus?" said Dilly. Most intrusive is the cock pheasant, whose loud call is always followed by claps of his wings. At least we don't have a cockerel at present. We have more than 40 bantams at present, so we won't replace the one who was taken by a fox (he defended his wives, who were all saved) for a while until the numbers go down naturally - some of the girls are 5 or more years old; they all live a natural lifespan unless a vulpine nocturnal visit robs them of it. They are laying very well at present and Al sells several dozen eggs a week (80p per half dozen). They eat the lettuces etc that he has to throw out, so they have their reward. Cycling down the drive is a charming experience - there are pheasants and chickens strolling across my path, rabbits on the field and usually a pair of partridges taking fright and flight. If I go slowly, the pheasants and bantams don't panic and gently bustle away.

* I realise I should use the comparative rather than the superlative, but it isn't 'right'.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Z buys a Birthday present

Weeza and Phil have a small front garden, half of which was covered by dull shrubs planted by the builders when the house was built a few years ago, and half of which is grass. Weeza and I (each being as impulsive as the other) hauled them all out a few weeks ago - I cut off the branches with my pruning saw and she dug out the roots. A couple of days later, the Sage drove over in his van and removed all the shrubs for the bonfire.

So, I wondered if she'd like replacement shrubs as a birthday present, and she was very pleased. This is the reason that, having babysat last night while they went out for dinner here, I stayed overnight so that we could all go to the garden centre together.

Weeza had the rabbit, the pork and the hot cross bun and butter pudding. I don't know what Phil had, but it must have included the beef as Weeza enthused about the smoked potato purée. She said that the food was beautifully presented, bordering on fussy but redeemed by being completely delicious. There was a small mishap during the evening caused by a dim sous chef in the kitchen, which was brushed off as being of no matter by Weeza and Phil, who were astonished at the end of the evening to be presented with no bill, but with thanks. They could do nothing but promise to go again...

Zerlina cried for a long time. This is, apparently, most unusual. I tried the reassuring hand, I tried the cuddle. They didn't make the slightest difference. Finally, after getting nowhere for 20 minutes, I reckoned that I was quite possibly disturbing her more with my presence than my absence, so I went back downstairs and closed the door. She fell asleep in the end and slept until 6 am. She was all smiles this morning and doesn't seem to hold it against me.

Happy Easter, darlings, in case I don't have time to pop in tomorrow morning.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Z's drawing room has a really tidy corner

I meant to go shopping yesterday afternoon, as I was looking after the children and I thought they would be quite happy trawling round the supermarket persuading me to buy them things, but they were both rather edgy and tearful when their mother left. They sounded tired and not very well, so I changed my mind and suggested a cuddle on the sofa with a film to watch instead. It was just what was needed, they both had a rest (actually, I dropped off at one point for a few minutes) and afterwards they drew, did puzzles and we read books until Al came home. Then I went out for dinner.

I wasn't late back, and was slightly disappointed that Ro hadn't unpacked the new television, so I hoovered and tidied where the old one had been while he assembled the base of the new one. Once it was in place, we decided it wasn't in the best place. There's not much choice, as it has to be within reach of the aerial lead but, once Dilly arrived home this morning to take over the children, I moved all the furniture in the room and cleaned thoroughly - actually, I haven't quite finished. There seems to be at least one armchair too many in here now. I'll probably keep them over Easter, as we'll use them all, and then move one to another room.

I hadn't been shopping however, and tonight I'm babysitting Zerlina, staying overnight and tomorrow morning going shopping with Weeza for her birthday present - I'm buying her shrubs and suchlike for her garden. There is little food in the house, though I have taken a leg of lamb from the freezer for Sunday (it had a happy, though short life, eating good grass from our field down by the river last spring and summer). More importantly, there was hardly a bottle of wine in the pantry - I've been too busy to shop recently and we've even drunk most of the good stuff. Not that I regularly have good stuff, though every time I do I think I should up my wine-buying game somewhat.

It used to be that most shops were shut on Good Friday, but that's been increasingly going by the board in recent years, And now I've joined the shoppers. Ro and I went down to the Co-op and filled a trolley.

I realised a while ago that I won't be around in the morning to help decorate the church. I've sent out an email explaining, so I hope someone who's going will read it and tell the others what's happening. I suppose I'd better put a note in the church kitchen too, in case.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Z cuts it fine

Dilly seems to be busier now she's on holiday than when she's at work. She had appointments in Norwich and Beccles yesterday, so I was going to look after the children until 3pm. I had an appointment at 'about' 10.30 at the church, with someone coming to look at a picture in need of restoration. In addition, our new television was to be delivered at an unspecified time. Since I'd ordered it online, I'd not had a chance to discuss this, but I could look up the time bracket on the day. I hoped it would be the afternoon rather than the morning, which would take a layer of complication from my 10.30 meeting. I looked it up. 4.45 - 8.45 pm. This eliminated one complication but introduced another.

Anyway, that could be considered later. I left for the church with the children - they know it well as the parent and toddler club meets in the church rooms and they were quite happy. While we were waiting, they played and I dealt with the new Easter candle, which was considerably too big for its holder and I needed to take of a quarter of an inch or so all around the bottom three inches. This took ages, and when I went back to check on the children there was a dark patch in the front of Pugsley's trousers. "You need the potty, Pugsley" I said, since it wasn't a large stain. "No, I don't need a wee," said Pugsley innocently.

Fortunately, just then the Sage arrived so I asked him to stay while I went home and fetched clean clothes. When I got back, of course the picture restorer had turned up, with a colleague (which was useful as I was concerned about the logistics of managing this huge picture) and we had a useful discussion. I changed Pugsley's clothes, he used the potty and we came home to sausages for lunch.

The tv hadn't arrived by the time we left, so we put a note on the door asking the driver to knock next door so that Dilly could let him in.

When we got to Weeza's house, Zerlina was in the bath. She was very pleased to see us and showed her new tooth, and how she cleans it with her new toothbrush. I cooked pizza while bedtime was happening, Phil arrived home early, not long after 6.30 and we'd finished dinner by 6.50. So, with a few minutes in hand, we chatted idly. Then I noticed it was nearly ten past seven. Great squawks of dismay and we belted out to the car, leaving Grandpa doing babysitting duty.

They only live about 3 or 4 miles from the city centre, but one-way streets and the like make it slow to get to. We discussed the quickest way in and the best place to park as I drove. Weeza was twitchy, I was calm. When things have gone wrong, no point in complaining, one needs to scheme how to make the best of things. The worst that would happen would be that Weeza, Phil and Ro would go in on time and that I (having taken extra time to park) would have to wait until allowed in. That wasn't so bad. I wouldn't want you to think it was life-or-death here.

As we turned off the roundabout to St Giles, we saw a sign saying the Forum (the ludicrously grandiloquently named public library) car park was full. "St Giles multi-storey then," I decided. Weeza and Phil got out, taking their tickets and leaving mine and I drove in. I parked on the second floor, only slightly scraping the car in the process (it's a bumper, c'est son métier), and got out. I checked the closing time of the car park as I went (it used to close when the shops did) and that was all right, so I started to stride off to the theatre.

It was maybe not the best decision to wear shoes with 3-inch heels. I considered taking them off and running, but remembered I can't run. Really, I can't. It isn't a matter of pain or exhaustion, just incapability. It's frustrating. I have always found walking short distances, such as from the house to the greenhouse, boring and run them, but now I can't. So I walked at my best hobble past City Hall, past the forum, over Theatre Street, and there was Weeza waiting. Bless her, if I was going to miss a few minutes, so was she. We walked into the theatre and pressed the button for the lift at 7.30 exactly.

When we got to the first floor, we found there was another staircase (someone didn't think out the redesign, it seems). It said our row, 1-20. Our seats were 22 and 23. I mentioned it. Weeza pffd and we went up. "You'll have to go back down and up the next stairs" said the usherette, not unkindly. "Oh, but my mother has a bad hip and stairs are really difficult" (I looked brave and pained) "please could we got through, we're only halfway along." The woman relented and we apologised our way past 16 people. At the moment Weeza reached her seat and I passed the last person, the house lights went down. Weeza and Z had done it again.

Damn good evening.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Middle of the nightly

Not for the squeamish - Dandelion, you might prefer to skip this one. I don't know whether you are squeamish generally but I know you are about eyes. Or maybe it's just yours. Anyway...

I switched off the light at midnight and fell into a deep and dreamless sleep. At half past two, I woke up and peered around - by the moonlight I could see that the sight in my right eye was blurred and my eye felt funny. It had been feeling funny all evening - that, in the first place, was why I wanted to take my lens out. It was apparent that my lens had gone to the back of my eye and was not lost after all.

Not that that meant I was able to get it out. I tried for a while, squeezing my eyes shut and then opening them, pulling down the eyelid and shutting my eyes gently and rolling my eyeball, but nothing worked. I decided to go back to sleep and see what happened.

A couple of restlessly-napping hours later, I woke up and the lens was in the right place, a bit squidged up. I removed it, came downstairs, put it to clean and went back to bed. All's fine today but I've not put it in yet. If I'd had it in all night I'd have had red and inflamed eyes today, so I was lucky.

My voice is back. Nicely husky, but quite clear. When Al had all his problems, he pointed out that he'd lost, temporarily of course, his sight (beesting), hearing (burst eardrum), taste and smell and his voice. He was being very careful of his fingertips, just in case. Maybe you have to have a problem to appreciate what you normally have.

I've just put the lens in. No problem and it's in the right place. Very odd, it's never done that before. The only time a lens has ever slipped to the back of my eye was when I forgot I hadn't taken them out and slept in them all night.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Three times nightly, naughty Z

Just thought you'd want to know - Zerlina finally has her first tooth.

And she can crawl.

Tomorrow night, Weeza, Phil, Ro and I are going to wait for Godot at the theatre (splendid cast, ooh can't wait). The Sage is going to babysit, This is all terribly exciting.

Z is a big husky

I haven't mention that, for the last few days, I've been a little husky. Np, don't be daft, I mean my voice. This morning, I spoke to the Sage like Fenella Fielding, which was fine, and then he went out and then I left for the meeting. When I arrived at my friend's house to pick her up, my voice was hardly there at all. I whispered and croaked my way through the meeting and came home, thinking of what I needed to do next - buy some plants Ro had asked me to get for Weeza, buy Maltesers and jelly babies for the meeting tonight, pick flowers and make birthday posies for WI tonight (I can't go because of the other meeting, so would give them to someone else to take) and get to the meeting room early to set up.

Then it dawned on me. I had lost my voice. I had the complete excuse to give my apologies for the meeting and have an evening at home. So I sent an email to explain, did the flowers, asked the Sage to deliver them so I didn't have to talk, set up the room and came home with nothing more to do. That is, there's another couple of phone calls I was planning to make, but I can't, being almost voiceless.

I put in my contact lens this morning and it wasn't comfortable. I took it out and thought the edge looked a bit rough, so I threw it away and took out a new one. I put it in, it still didn't feel right, I took it out, peered at it, rinsed it, put it in again and left the house. I just decided to take it out. It doesn't seem to be there. This is a bit of a nuisance. It means that I dropped it this morning and only thought I'd put it in. If I found it, it would be dried out and useless, so that's a waste of rather a lot of money.

It's also notable that I drove to Norwich and back without realising that I didn't have it in.

Z holds back

It's taking an effort. I'm so gung-ho, in my quiet and reserved sort of way. Having, as I have said, asked several people to be Treasurer and having been, ever so nicely, rebuffed each time, I'm ready to say soddit I'll do it myself. In fact, one of the committee members has said she'll step in if there's a real difficulty, but she's not too keen to take on the commitment as she is, as they say, under the doctor at present and she'd rather wait for a clean bill of health. Fact is, I'm sort of missing the committee already, even though I've got another couple of months to go. The main thing holding me back, apart from a modicum of common sense, is that the bank we use is in Norwich and I don't go there all that often - there are an appreciable number of checks to pay in sometimes.

And when explaining whom I'd spoken to, I mentioned that one of the people concerned I'd met through my blog, which gave rise to some jocularity. As you all know, bloggers are charming, friendly and more sociable than their solitary keyboard-tapping proclivities would suggest, but we know that, the few remaining non-bloggers of the world don't and assume we're all weird. I refer to the blog but I don't talk about it much and few people know where to find it - amongst Real World friends, that is. So, having checked that I'm not, secretly, P't1te Angla1se (Sue's reading her book at present), which I denied (I also denied being G1rl with a 1 Track M1nd for good measure) Sue asked where to find my blog. I said if she really wants to know I'll tell her, but I feel strangely shy at the prospect. Should I come out? Is it a good idea for people to know me as I really am?

So, if I suddenly start being terribly polite and modest, you'll know I've gone public. Well, told Sue and Jill.

Monday, 6 April 2009

More Zedworking -

with varied degrees of success. One person, whom I'd phoned several times without success, I finally emailed. I've not met her but in last year's questionnaire she said she might be willing to join the committee. I've just had a reply; she's at present on a cruise ship en route to Alexandria. She is interested in becoming Secretary and will phone me when she arrives home. Now, that's the sort of conscientious person I appreciate. I like her already.

The other person I spoke to might be willing to come on the committee, but not as Treasurer. That's four refusals. I have a couple more options but I'm not optimistic about either of them agreeing, and one doesn't use a computer in any case, which is not terribly convenient. I'll take it back to the committee tomorrow and see if anyone has any thoughts.

I had a very boring, but productive morning, much of which was spent on the phone and the rest on the computer. I started with an hour of babysitting, but then worked solidly for three hours - yes you all do that every day. I don't - that is, I might spend a long time typing if I've got reports 'n' stuff, but actually talking to people is another thing. I'm not all that fond of making phone calls, and they always seem to come in when I'm busy doing something more interesting or important. What really is guaranteed to make the phone ring is settling down for a conversation with the Sage.

In the afternoon I got out into the greenhouse and sowed yet more seeds. Next thing will be to start pricking out tomato seedlings, of which there are 8 varieties. Probably an average of a couple of dozen of seedlings of each, though that may be an underestimate. It's the part I like best, the nurturing of little plants. By the time they are all done the peppers - sweet and chilli another 100 plants or so - will need to be done and then the aubergines - purple and white. By then squashes will be ready to pot up. It's a good thing I've a fair bit of greenhouse space. The trying time is often the end of April or beginning of May when a sneaky late frost suddenly catches the runner beans I've been carefully getting ready to plant out. We rarely get frost later than the first few days of May, but it can still be cold enough to catch newly-planted tender beans and courgettes.

Tonight, I'm catching up on The Wire They're putting it on every blooming weekday, so if you miss one and don't watch it the next day, you have to record the next night's. This will happen tonight as I've got two episodes to watch in an hour, which obviously isn't going to happen.

What the young Z watched

This is the one. Hancock's Half Hour started on the radio in the 1950s and then transferred to television (while still running on the radio) and continued there until the 60s. Tony Hancock committed suicide when on a tour of Australia when he was 44 in 1968.

The quoted bit is about halfway through, but it's worth watching the lot.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Z Networks

Could that be Zedworks?

It's the churchwarden thing, you see. One of us -The Fellow, that is - is moving to Norwich soon, so he's standing down. Someone had been approached to take over, but he lives a few miles away, though he comes to church here and his wife works here, and they'd hoped to move to the village, but it's fallen through, so he doesn't think he can take it on. So, since it's getting near the time when we need to take firm, if not quite urgent, steps, I went ahead and approached the person I have long had my eye on as the perfect replacement for me in a year's time. She would be ideal - much better than I am, except insofar as I have more self-confidence than she does. You might say that I take self-confidence just a little too far, except that you're too kind to say that.

I explained the exact situation - that she isn't the first person asked, why he can't do it, and that I'd been going to ask her in good time for next year but that we need someone now. As I expected, she immediately said that she couldn't as it isn't within her capabilities. I talked her through that part of it, acknowledged her social shyness but said you only need one brash and outspoken person (obv, I didn't use those words) - anyway, she still said 'no' but she's agreed to be my deputy and she will learn the ropes and can make a decision next year. No obligation, I said, and she knows she can trust me.

I do take 'no' for an answer, you see. I probably should be more pushy. I still have to find a treasurer and a secretary for another committee, and I don't think the secretary will be a problem (I'll do it myself at a pinch anyway, so I'm fairly relaxed about that) but I've asked three people to be treasurer and they've all made their perfectly valid excuses. I've one more to try, but the reason I've not done so before is that I don't think she's got time. This is a bit of a problem. However, the Luck of the Sage has always rubbed off on me up to now, so I hope it will again.

Back to the churchwarden - "have you asked S?" said my friend. No, I hadn't - she's quite old and I didn't think she'd take it on. But now her name was mentioned, yes, she would be splendid. So after the service, I asked her. Explained it all again, said that we could do the two jobs between the three of us - and after a few minutes due consideration she agreed. Indeed, she seems pleased to be asked. I'm really happy about it as I know we will work really well together. We're all close friends but we're not afraid to disagree, if necessary, without quarrelling, and we are all practical and when there's a job to do we just get on with it.

We were the runners up in the quiz last night. Always the bridesmaid, hey? No matter, we were beaten fair and square by a team that knew far more British geography than we did. We scored top marks in a couple of rounds though. Do you know, I was the only person on our team who could say where "A pint? That's very nearly an armful!" came from. I'll excuse the 35-year-old, but no one older has a leg to stand on, with or without its pint.

Update - I just asked Ro if he knew it and he did. "Everyone should know that," he said. "There's no excuse."

It's a national heritage thing, isn't it?

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Another day, another birthday

And today, it's Weeza'z birthday. Happy birthday, lovely girl.

It was clever of me, wasn't it, having my children two days apart? Though Ro's birthday is in July. I vetoed having a third baby in April, or anywhere near Christmas.

We won't see her today, as she and the family are visiting Phil's parents as it's his mum's 60th next week and today there is a big joint party for her and her best friend from schooldays. Wink is coming to stay for Easter and we'll have a three-way celebration on Easter Sunday as her birthday is a couple of days after that. All wild partying around here, you see. Hmm. Tame partying.

How thoughtful of the Weather Demons, to give the first day of the school holidays to warmth and sunshine. I've been working in the greenhouse, but have come indoors for a while as I was too hot. All the first batch of seedlings are up and I've got more sown. Still a lot to do of the later stuff - beans and squashes and so on, but I'll do them all in the next week or so. French beans are jolly tricky as they hate too much moist warmth as much as they despise damp cold and in either situation the seeds rot. MInd you, last year rabbits ate all the plants as soon as they were set out in the garden. I've sown broad beans indoors as pheasants are fond of them and we have a good many pheasants in the garden - three cocks vying with each other for the attention of at least seven hens. The chickens are very good and sweet and tend not to stray as far as the kitchen garden, and I don't mind the odd dustbath in the lawn. Nor do I mind molehills. Come to that, any animals except for mink and rats are more than welcome in my garden, although when a cow eats a whole bedful of sweetcorn I become a bit moody for a while.

I would quite like a brief rest on the sofa, which may include closing my eyes for a few minutes. Drinking red wine at lunchtime followed by a very warm spell in the greenhouse has rebounded on me. I need to be awake for this quiz tonight. There will be some clever people there with better memories than I have, so we won't win.

Friday, 3 April 2009

That in-between day...

...when it's no one's birthday. Not in our family anyway. Happy Birthday if it's yours.

I went to a quiz tonight. We won last year and bore away the trophy - a shield - in triumph. Cost the Sage nearly a fiver to get it engraved, mind you. We came second this time, which was the best possible result as far as I was concerned - to win twice running would look a bit too keen and give us a reputation to keep up too, but one hardly wants the wooden spoon. The most embarrassing question to get right was "who had a hit with 'The One and Only' in 1991'?". Indeed, I did know. I apologise.

I looked after the shop for 3 hours again today to give Al a break. If he were employed, he'd have taken a few days off right at the start and got over this, but that's not possible. I'm babysitting tomorrow morning, but I've told him I can go in during the afternoon and again for as long as he likes on Monday. Tim has his children coming to stay so he is taking the whole week off, so Al will have to work longer hours than usual, even with me helping. I don't mind, except that it's jolly cold in there - this afternoon I took a chair and a book and sat outside between serving customers as it was a good deal warmer out there.

The silly thing I did was to forget to put my insert in my shoe - I remembered when well on the way to school in the morning on my bike (now the weather's not so cold I can keep going all the way up the hill, huzzah). I had 3mm-worth in my bag, so I put those in, but usually I use 9mm, and I was wearing heels as well, so it's not ideal for the balance. It's not much difference - it's a bit like when I don't put in my contact lens and don't notice for quite some time, but once I've realised I can really tell the difference.

Another quiz tomorrow night, will the jollity never cease?

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Z isn't that good at communication, herself

Um, the Alexander saga continues. If you're a tenant, please communicate with your landlord. It's all about communication. *sigh*

Anyhoo, the news of the day is that it's Al's birthday. Happy birthday, Al. Pity you're not well enough to enjoy it. His ear doesn't hurt, but he still has a dreadful cough and can't manage a full day at work. Well, he did yesterday, but he felt decidedly ropy by the end of it and I took over for a few hours today. As always, the customers were lovely and several of them engaged me in earnest garden-related conversation.

It was cold today though - that is, compared to yesterday when it was sunny and springy. I put on a warm coat and was glad to find fingerless gloves in the pocket. At ten past four, the sun came out and all three customers in the shop spontaneously cheered. I walked home, which should be no big deal - it's only a mile and a half - but I had a heavy shopping bag and I found myself limping by half-way home. I'm fine now though, it doesn't last.

If you've written to me, I will reply. Sorry, I'm still so behind with things. The catalogues have arrived for our next sale - the pictures aren't up to scratch, disappointingly, don't know why they're a bit fuzzy. We okayed the PDF proof, but they said it was low-quality and just for the layout, so the added fuzz was in the printing. It's adequate, but not good.

Oh, I earned a hug and a kiss from my younger son this evening. We'd been talking about liquorice the other evening and today I bought him some nice tough hard liquorice sticks. He didn't expect it and he was awfully pleased. He offered me one, but I said I'd bought an extra one and eaten it on the way home.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A refugee from Ruritania?

I'm still sneezing hugely, several times, but only once a day. Very odd. It still feels like neither hay fever nor a cold.

I meant to tell you about a young woman waiting for a train at Liverpool Street Station. Her dress was so singular that I took notes. Here's the very note - this is what I wrote...

Item - Pink and black striped woolly stockings
Item - White broiderie anglaise bloomers (yes, honestly bloomers. I assumed it was a petticoat and then she bent down to her rucksack and it was long and stupid knickers)
Item - Black skirt decorated with sprigs of flowers and leaves with red tape edging and pink net frill
Item - Pink skirt decorated with flowers with red flowered horizontally inserted panel, edged with a frill of white lace
Item - a red top
Item - a pink top tied at the back
Item - Black hair in two pigtails

She looked quaint.

Today has been the sort of day when I didn't get done all I'd hoped. Nevertheless, I did get a good deal accomplished, so mustn't grumble. A couple of unexpected and long phone calls received, which were too important not to give full attention to. Awaiting news from Alexander, Steve at the agents assures me that he'll crack on and get everything sorted on Friday if necessary. I could have gone up tomorrow, but no real point as it would only have resulted in me offering to help when it isn't my responsibility, and by doing so I'd have got involved. As it is, Steve will check the place out for me.

The very best thing that could have greeted me on my return (well, a kiss from my husband was a given, not that I take the dear chap for granted, no, not at all) was a lovely letter and CD from Julie, the best bartender in Athens. Athens, Georgia, that is.